Farmers Agenda for 2014 Elections

#FarmersAgenda2014

Rytu Swarajya Vedhika is planning to bring up the Farmers Agenda for 2014 elections.  Please do share your views. Also please do share it with the political parties you know to include in their manifestos.

2014 Farmers Manifesto (English)

2014 RSV manifesto pdf (Telugu)

Rytu Swarajya Vedhika is planning to bring up the Farmers Agenda for 2014 elections.  Please do share your views. Also please do share it with the political parties you know to include in their manifestos.

 

Government Subsidy Schemes on Seed across the country

Scheme/Component Crops Scale of Assistance
Macro Management Rice and Wheat Rs.500/- per quintal or 50% of the cost, whichever is less for certified seed distribution for rice and wheat.
Mode of Agriculture-State Work Plan

 

 

 

Bajra, Jowar, Ragi and Barley

 

 

 

Rs.800/- per quintal or 50% of the cost, whichever is less for certified seed distribution of varieties for Bajra, Jowar and Barley
Rs.1000/- per quintal for certified seed distribution of hybrid of Bajra and Jowar.
Rs.1000/- quintal or 50% of the cost, whichever is less for assistance for production hybrid rice seed.
Rs.2000/- per quintal or 50% of the cost, whichever is less assistance for production hybrid rice seed distribution.
Integrated Scheme on Oilseeds, Pulses, Oil Palm and Maize All Oilseeds, Pulses and Maize

 

Full cost for purchase of Breeder seed.
Rs.1000/- quintal for foundation and certified seed production.
Rs.1200/- per quintal or 25% of Seeds cost whichever is less for certified seed distribution.
Oil Palm Sprouts

 

Full cost of Seed Minikits of high yielding varieties (implementing agency NSC/SFCI).
75% of the cost with a ceiling of Rs.7500/ha.for entire land holding of farmers.
Technology Mission on Cotton Cotton Seed 50% of the cost or Rs.50/- per kg. whichever is less for foundation seed production.
25% of the cost or Rs..15/- per kg. whichever is less for Certified seed production.
Rs.20/- per kg. for certified seed  distribution.
50% of the cost limited to Rs.40/- per kg. seed treatment
Technology Mission on Jute and Mesta Jute and Mesta 50% of the  cost limited to Rs.3000/- per quintal for  foundation seed production.
25% of the  cost limited to Rs.700/- per quintal for  Certified seed production
50% of the cost limited to Rs.2000/- per quintal for certified seed distribution.
National Food Security Mission

 

 

 

Rice Rs.1000/- per quintal or 50% of the cost whichever is less for certified hybrid rice seed production.
Rs.2000/- per quintal or 50% of Seeds cost whichever is less for certified hybrid rice seed distribution.
Rs.5/- per kg.. or 50% of the cost, whichever is less for certified high yielding varieties seed distribution.
Full cost of Seed Minikits of high yielding varieties.
  Wheat Rs.5/- per kg. or 50% of the cost whichever is less for certified high yielding varieties seed distribution
Full cost of Seed Minikits of high yielding varieties.
  Pulses Rs.1000/- per quintal for foundation and certified seeds production.
Rs.1200/- per quintal or 50% of the cost whichever is less for certified seed distribution.
Full cost of Seed Minikits of high yielding varieties
Seed Village Programme All Agricultural Crops To upgrade the quality of farmer saved seed financial assistance for distribution of foundation/certified seeds at 50% cost of the seed for production of quality seeds.
Assistance to train the farmers on seed production and seed technology @ Rs.15000/- for a group of 50-150 farmers.
to encourage farmers to develop storage capacity of appropriate quality  assistance @ 33% subject to a maximum of Rs. 3000/- for SC/ST farmers and @ 25% subject to maximum of Rs. 2000/- for other farmers for procuring seeds storage bin of 20 qtl. capacity .Assistance @ 33%  subject to maximum of Rs. 1500/- to SC/ST farmers and @ 25% subject to maximum of Rs. 1000/- for other farmers for making seeds storage bin of 10 qtl. capacity in the seed villages where seed village scheme is being implemented.
Transport subsidy on Movement of Seeds to North Eastern States including Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Uttarakhand & Hill areas of West Bengal  All certified seeds excluding potato 100% difference between road and rail transportation charge is being reimbursed to implementing States/Agencies for movement of seeds produced from outside the State to the identified State Capital/District Headquarter.
Actual cost restricted to maximum limit of Rs.60/- per quintal  whichever is less for movement of seeds transported within the State from State Capital/District Headquarter to sale outlets/sale counters is being reimbursed.
Hybrid Rice Seed Production Only Rice Hybrid Rice Seed Production assistance Rs.2000/qtls.
Hybrid Rice Seed Distribution assistance Rs2500/qtls.
Creation and Strengthening of Infrastructure Facilities All Crops To create/strengthen infrastructure facilities for production and distribution of quality seeds for the States/State Seeds Corporation financial assistance for creating facilities for seed cleaning, grading, processing, packing and seed storage is being provided in public sector
Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana All Crops All Activities including Seed Infrastructure  Facilities
Assistance for Boosting Seed Production in Private Sector for high volume-low value crops For increasing seed production with a view to enhancing seed replacement rate, particularly in high volume low value crops, credit linked back-ended capital subsidy  is provided @ 25% of project cost up to a maximum limit of Rs. 10.00 lakh on seed infrastructure development relating to seed cleaning, grading, processing, seed treating, packaging, seed storage and seed testing facilities, to private companies, individual entrepreneurs, NGOs and seed co-operatives through commercial banks and National Seed Development Corporation. The Private Companies, individual entrepreneurs, NGOs and seed co-operatives constitute the beneficiaries under this scheme.

European Union has introduced a new legislation to replace all the existing seed regulations

2013 EU seed law

The new “Plant Reproductive Material Law” regulates all plants. It contains immediate restrictions on vegetables and woodland trees. (It also creates powers that can be used to restrict any other plants in the future, but the details of how this will work are left for later.)

Under the new law, it will immediately be illegal to grow, reproduce or trade any vegetable seed or tree that has not been tested and approved by a new “EU Plant Variety Agency”, who will make a list of approved plants. Moreover, an annual fee must also be paid to the Agency to keep them on the list, and if not paid, they cannot be produced.

In reality, it seems to be mostly about the globalised agribusiness seed industry needing new laws to cope with gene patents and plant patents, and to be able to register ‘their’ industrial varieties or genes safely and securely before selling them in large quantities to industrial farmers, who might otherwise save the seed and sell it or use it themselves without paying a royalty fee.

he law starts from the premise that all vegetables, fruit and trees must be officially registered before they can be reproduced or distributed. This obviously is a major restriction on seed availability, as there are all sorts of costs in both time and money dealing with the bureaucracy of a central Plant Variety Agency. Then, after making that the basic rule, there are some exceptions made in limited cases (which could of interest for india):

  • Home gardeners will be permitted to save and swap unregistered seed without breaking the law.
  • Small organisations can grow and supply unregistered vegetable seed – but only if they have less than 10 employees
  • Seedbanks can grow unregistered seed without breaking the law (but they cannot give it to the public)
  • There might be easier (in an unspecified way) rules for large producers of seeds suitable for organic agriculture etc, in some (unspecified) future legislation – maybe.
the bill has to be approved by the parliament

Draft CSR Rules

CHAPTER IX-CSR RULES

Ministry of Corporate Affairs has released draft CSR rules. The rules will apply from the coming financial year (April-14). Key rules include: 1.      Net profit before tax will form the base for calculating CSR spending. Profit from branches outside India will be excluded. 2.      A company can also pool CSR resources with other companies. 3.      Tax treatment will be according to Income Tax Act. 4.      Activities creating ‘shared value’ which integrate the business model with social and environmental priorities are permitted. 5.      Implementation can be done directly, through dedicated trusts, etc., or through other NGOs, trusts, etc. 6.      All CSR activities must be conducted within India. 7.      If an activity is exclusively for employees / their families, then it will not be treated as CSR. The draft is available on MCA web-site as well as AccountAid web-site. You can visit http://mca.gov.in/NCB/feedback/, create a user, login and leave your comments. The last date for comments is 8-Oct-13.

Summary of The National Food Security Bill 2013

 Tehelka Bureau

Revised version, as tabled in Parliament on 22 March 2013. Read full text of the Bill (Download PDF).

1. Preliminaries

The Bill seeks “to provide for food and nutritional security in human life cycle approach, by ensuring access to adequate quantity of quality food at affordable prices to people to live a life with dignity and for matters connected therewith and incidental thereto”.

It extends to the whole of India and “shall come into force on such date as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette appoint, and different dates may be appointed for different States and different provisions of this Act”.

2. Entitlements

Public Distribution System (TPDS)

Priority households are entitled to 5 kgs of foodgrains per person per month, and Antyodaya households to 35 kgs per household per month. The combined coverage of Priority and Antyodaya households (called “eligible households”) shall extend “up to 75% of the rural population and up to 50% of the urban population”.

The PDS issue prices are given in Schedule I: Rs 3/2/1 for rice/wheat/millets (actually called “coarse grains” in the Bill). These may be revised after three years.

Children’s Entitlements

For children in the age group of 6 months to 6 years, the Bill guarantees an age-appropriate meal, free of charge, through the local anganwadi. For children aged 6-14 years, one free mid-day meal shall be provided every day (except on school holidays) in all schools run by local bodies, government and government aided schools, up to Class VIII. For children below six months, “exclusive breastfeeding shall be promoted”.

Children who suffer from malnutrition will be identified through the local anganwadi and meals will be provided to them free of charge “through the local anganwadi”.

Entitlements of Pregnant and Lactating Women

Every pregnant and lactating mother is entitled to a free meal at the local anganwadi (during pregnancy and six months after child birth) as well as maternity benefits of Rs 6,000, in instalments.

[Notes: (1) “Meal” is defined in the Bill as “hot cooked meal or ready to eat meal or take home ration, as may be prescribed by the Central Government”. All “meals” have to meet nutritional norms specified in Schedule II. (2) The entitlements of women and children are to be delivered by state governments through schemes “in accordance with the guidelines, including cost sharing” to be prescribed by the Central Government. (3) Every school and anganwadi is to have “facilities for cooking meals, drinking water and sanitation”. (4) For purposes of issuing ration cards, the eldest woman in the household (not less than 18 years of age) shall be considered head of the household.]

3. Identification of Eligible Households

The Bill does not specify criteria for the identification of households (Priority or Antyodaya) eligible for PDS entitlements. The Central Government is to determine the state-wise coverage of the PDS, in terms of proportion of the rural/urban population. Then numbers of eligible persons will be calculated from Census population figures. The identification of eligible households is left to state governments, subject to the scheme’s guidelines for Antyodaya, and subject to guidelines to be “specified” by the state government for Priority households. The lists of eligible households are to be placed in the public domain and “displayed prominently” by state governments.

4. Food Commissions

The Bill provides for the creation of State Food Commissions. Each Commission shall consist of a chairperson, five other members and a member-secretary (including at least two women and one member each from Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes).

The main function of the State Commission is to monitor and evaluate the implementation of the act, give advice to the states governments and their agencies, and inquire into violations of entitlements (either suo motu or on receipt of a complaint, and with “all the powers of a civil court while trying a suit under the Code of Civil Procedure 1908”). State Commissions also have to hear appeals against orders of the District Grievance Redressal Officer and prepare annual reports to be laid before the state legislature.

The State Commission may forward “any case” to a Magistrate having jurisdiction, who shall proceed as if the case has been forwarded under Section 346 of the Code of Criminal Procedure 1973.

5. Transparency and Grievance Redressal

The Bill provides for a two-tier grievance redressal structure, involving the District Grievance Redressal Officer (DGRO) and State Food Commission. State governments must also put in place an internal grievance redressal mechanism which may include call centres, help lines, designation of nodal officers, “or such other mechanisms as may be prescribed”.

Transparency Provisions

Mandatory transparency provisions include: (1) placing all PDS-related records in the public domain and keeping them open for inspection to the public; (2) conducting periodic social audits of the PDS and other welfare schemes; (3) using information and communication technology (including end-to-end computerisation of the PDS) “to ensure transparent recording of transactions at all levels”; (4) setting up vigilance committees at state, district, block and fair price shop levels to supervise all schemes under the act.

District Grievance Redressal Officers

DGROS shall be appointed by state governments for each district to hear complaints and take necessary action according to norms to be prescribed by state governments. If a complainant (or the officer or authority against whom an order has been passed by the DGRO) is not satisfied, he or she may file an appeal before the State Food Commission.

Penalties and Compensation

The Food Commissions have powers to impose penalties. If an order of the DGRO is not complied with, the concerned authority or officer can be fined up to Rs. 5,000. The Commission can authorise “any of its members” to act as an adjudicating officer for this purpose.

In case of “non-supply of the entitled quantities of foodgrains or meals to entitled persons”, such persons will be entitled to a food security allowance from the state government, as prescribed by the central government.

6. Other Provisions

PDS Reforms

In Chapter VII, the Bill states that central and state governments “shall endeavour to progressively undertake” various PDS reforms, including: doorstep delivery of foodgrains; ICT applications and end-to-end computerisation; leveraging “aadhaar” (UID) for unique identification of entitled beneficiaries; full transparency of records; preference to public institutions or bodies in licensing of fair price shops; management of fair price shops by women or their collectives; diversification of commodities distributed under the PDS; full transparency of records; and “introducing schemes such as cash transfer, food coupons or other schemes to the targeted beneficiaries in lieu of their foodgrain entitlements” as prescribed by the central government.

Obligations of Government and Local Authorities

The main obligation of the Central Government is to provide foodgrains (or, failing that, funds) to state governments, at prices specified in Schedule I, to implement the main entitlements. It also has to “provide assistance” to state governments to meet local distribution costs, but on its own terms (“as may be prescribed”). The Central Government has wide-ranging powers to make Rules.

The main obligation of state governments is to implement the relevant schemes, in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Central Government. State governments also have wide-ranging powers to make Rules. They are free to extend benefits and entitlements beyond what is prescribed in the Bill, from their own resources.

Local Authorities and Panchayati Raj Institutions are responsible for proper implementation of the act in their respective areas, and may be given additional responsibilities by notification.

7. Schedules

The Bill has three schedules (these can be amended “by notification”). Schedule 1 prescribes issue prices for the PDS. Schedule 2 prescribes “nutritional standards” for midday meals, take-home rations and related entitlements. For instance, take-home rations for children aged 6 months to 3 years should provide at least 500 calories and 12-15 grams of protein. Schedule 3 lists various “provisions for advancing food security”, under three broad headings: (1) revitalization of agriculture (e.g. agrarian reforms, research and development, remunerative prices), (2) procurement, storage and movement of foodgrains (e.g. decentralised procurement), and (3) other provisions (e.g. drinking water, sanitation, health care, and “adequate pensions” for “senior citizens, persons with disability and single women”).

 

Summary of National Food Security Bill 2013 prepared by Jean Dreze on behalf of TEHELKA